In animal research, authorities require a classification of anticipated pain levels and a perioperative analgesia protocol prior to approval of the experiments. However, data on this topic is rare and so is the reported use of analgesics. We determined surrogate parameters of pain and general well-being after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), as well as the potential for improvement by different systemic analgesia paradigms. Brain injury was induced by filament perforation to mimic SAH. Sham-operated mice were included as surgical control groups with either neck or no-neck preparation. Mice with controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury were included as a control group with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but without neck preparation. Mice were randomized to buprenorphine, carprofen, meloxicam, or vehicle treatment. 24 h after SAH, CCI or sham surgery, pain and stress levels were assessed with a visual assessment score and the amount of food intake was recorded.